Hated Things (Not "Things I Hate")

Being a Ticking Timebomb of Rage (as you do) while surfing around today, hated things started coming to mind. About blog posts.

It's easy to find fault in others (and fun, too); but I started wondering, do I do the same things?

Since it's nearly impossible to impartially judge your own writing, why not judge other people's writing, find what sucks, and then look for the same problems in your own? Next best thing.

So, a list of Hated Things was formed (enjoyable in itself), and then compared to my own posting habits. The results were illuminating.

What this article isn't:

This isn't really about the "rules" of writing, or even advice on how to write well. It's about writing for yourself.

You've seen it; the advice articles encouraging you to "write for yourself first". I can't personally vouch for the money-making power of "writing for yourself first" - I'm sure others can - but who cares? Finding The Money is about doing so without losing your soul.

Doing things on your list of Hated Things can't be good.

Your list of Hated Things:

Don't have a list of Hated Things? Well, what follows is a partial list of mine. You'll be a little Ticking Timebomb of Rage in no time.

Rants Incoming

My list is a little sassy. As I said previously, it's not meant to be a guide to the rules of writing (whatever they are), best practices, or anything like that. Think of it as an example with fangs.

My list of Hated Things:

(The score at the end of each item is how many times I found the Hated Thing in my posts, ie., a lower score is better.)

1. Posts that start with the word "I".

You'd better quickly justify a post that starts with "I" or I am going to press a button that makes your blog go away -- if you have no credibility with me, that is.

What looks more interesting to you (as the beginning of an article)?

This:
"I woke up this morning and thought I'd stepped into a parallel universe."

Or This:
"The funny thing about waking up are the times you wake up in a parallel universe."

Seriously, whoever "I" is, I don't care about how he woke up. The first (sucky) beginning sounded like monologue, the second sounded like an actual conversation.

That goes for the word "I" in the title, too.

Score: 1

Not too bad, I guess. But looking at the post, I saw that it really didn't need to start that way. And now it doesn't.

2. The phrase "goes on".

As in, "He goes on to say..." blah. Trite. It's the first thing that comes to many writer's minds when they're posting about someone else's blog entry. The thing is, unless you're Eric Cartman, I don't want to know the first thing that goes through your mind. Variety, please.

Score: 1

Oops.

3. Links in comments.

You'd better have a compelling reason for putting links to your site(s) in a comment. For instance, if you're the subject of the post being commented on, fine. Otherwise, you suck and your comment sucks. Even if your comment wouldn't otherwise suck, it sucks now.

Most comment forms allow your name to be your link. That's good enough. If your comment doesn't cause people to take an interest in you, you don't deserve any traffic from it.

By the way, every little thing you do online relating to blogs does not have to translate to $dollar signs$. If you liked someone's article, it's okay to just say something nice, without expecting traffic from it.

Score: 0

Thank God.

4. Apologies for infrequent posting.

Kids. I have them. They make excuses all the time. I don't want to hear yours.

You're apologizing because you think you suck at blogging for not posting regularly enough. Maybe you do, maybe you don't; but if you tell me you do, I'll be inclined to agree with you. And then I'll go away.

Score: 0

But then, I've posted frequently up to this point. If the time comes that a few days are skipped, there'll be a good reason for it. Like slacking. Slacking is a good reason.

At any rate, infrequent posting has its own penalties. No need to penalize yourself further by offering lame excuses.


You get the picture.
You should be your blog's #1 fan, but that can be hard if you're doing the same things in your blogs that you hate in others.

Indeed, you might not even notice it. The Human Condition, being what it is, forces us to examine our dislikes and actively compare them to ourselves if we want to find our blind spots.

To that end, become a Ticking Timebomb of Rage today -- and then use it positively for your writing.


Related Post: Finding the Traffic (Think Days, Not Months)

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